Loveland Resident Arrested on Suspicion of Arson
During the evening of September 25, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from an alarm monitoring company, which ultimately led to the arrest of a suspect on charges of 4th degree arson, among several misdemeanors. The call came in at 8:40 p.m., and reported an audible burglar alarm at a home in the Lago Vista Mobile Home Park, located in the 400 block of East 57th Street in Loveland/unincorporated Larimer County. When deputies arrived on scene, they found the door open and saw an adult male crouching in the back room. Additional authorities were called to the location, and although they announced their presence and gave commands directing the man to exit the home, he did not comply. Police then entered through the open door, at which point the man began yelling and proceeded to discharge several large yield fireworks directly toward the officers. Deputies exited as the inside of the home began to fill with smoke, and the man then came to the door holding a small gas torch, as he continued to light fireworks and disobey commands. At this time, a K9 was deployed, however the suspect retreated back inside, setting off more explosions. The situation eventually came to an end when the man, later identified as Loveland resident Leonard Francis Simonini, finally emerged from the house and was apprehended by the K9 without further incident. Loveland Fire Rescue Authority was also on scene to extinguish the engulfed home – a cat did not survive the fire, and Simonini was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and injuries sustained during the K9 apprehension.
Simonini was later booked into the Larimer County Jail on the following allegations:
4th Degree Arson x 2 (Class 4 Felony);
Cruelty to Animals (Class 1 Misdemeanor);
Reckless Endangerment x 3 (Class 3 Misdemeanor);
Resisting Arrest (Class 2 Misdemeanor);
Obstructing a Peace Officer (Class 2 Misdemeanor); and
Violation of Bail Bond Conditions (Class 3 Misdemeanor)
The initial investigation revealed Simonini was a resident of the home where the intense incident unfolded, but it was not clear why the burglar alarm was sounding or why he did not identify himself or indicate that he was a resident of the home.